Barcelona will play Real Sociedad on January 13 at Cordoba’s Estadio Nuevo Arcangel, with the winners taking on either Real Madrid or Athletic Club in the final of Supercopa de España on January 17. Barcelona has turned their fortune around in the last few games after a rather unconvincing start to the season. With key players keeping it together, Barcelona is currently on a three very important away win run. After a disappointing 1-1 draw at Camp Nou against Eibar, they are finally clicking together. They would very much like to continue their form away from home and go all the way to win the first trophy of the season. It was the last time around when Real Madrid won the Supercopa de España in January and got the much-needed boost for their morale and finally won the La Liga. Super Copa early in the season is very important and very tricky. Two good wins and you will get your hands on a mid-season trophy. It would be a nice incentive for Barcelona to continue on their path of a transition period. As things stand, everything is clicking for Barcelona and they will begin the trophy hunt as favorites.
Here is why Barcelona is the favorites to win Supercopa de Espana -\
A great flurry of results-\
Three wins at Huesca, Athletic Club, and Granada will play a major role in their morale. Against Huesca, they struggled but ground out a tough 0-1 victory. After conceding first against Athletic in the 3rd minute of the game, they fought back brilliantly and won the match 2-3. Against Granada, they just swept a 0-4 victory. The team is elated and a good run behind would definitely help them. They faced their Supercopa rivals in mid-December and defeated them 2-1. Come on Barca, get your midseason incentive!
Lionel Messi is Back-\
The little magician entered the campaign on the back of loads of controversy and a reluctant mind. He struggled to hit full gears in the early part of La Liga. But the master returned to what he has been doing in Spain for the last 15 years. From struggling to score from open play and now leading the top scorer chart, Leo Messi is back in full swing. A sweet strike to open his goal account of the day and an insane free-kick goal from Messi and Granada just couldn’t keep Barcelona at bay. If Messi hits full throttle, it would be extremely difficult to hold them from their first domestic trophy of the season.
4-3-3 is working wonders-\
Ronald Koeman tried various formations upfront but the 4-3-3 gave them a satisfying result every time they implied with the definitive role assigned. Griezmann and Messi both like the floating role on the field. But with defined roles and clear structural identity Barcelona has decided to give that responsibility to Messi. The 4-3-3 formation with Pedri and De Jong in the midfield is proving to be more than effective along with either Busquets or Pjanic. They are creating more and more chances and keeping their defensive structure solid. Messi and Dembele along with Griezmann/Braithwaite up front are finally clicking after much speculation. It has happened because of Barcelona’s sustained faith in Dembele and his hardwork to stay fit. A lot would depend on Dembele to work on this system. As Koeman’s Barcelona depends a lot on pacey wingers. With Ansu Fati out injured, Griezmann and Dembele have a great chance of solidifying their slot to play alongside Messi.
The Messi-Pedri Duo-\
Messi has found his partner in crime. Outrageous backheels, holding play, running in behind, knitting one-two to enter the box- Pedri ticks every box to be an ideal attacking partner for Messi. The 18 years-old kid showed why he is such highly rated in these last couple of months. People questioned his game time after a rather week display against Real Madrid. But he answered the questions very quickly. Pedri is the talking point of Spain at the moment. Messi looks happy with Pedri and seems to be enjoying the game again.
Ousmane Dembele is a constant threat-\
Dembele was brought in to replace one of the modern greats of football-Neymar. The guy had a tough time replicating the services of Neymar. A run of constant injuries and bad luck kept Dembele on the sidelines for months in his 3 years of career at Barcelona. This season he finally looks fresh and looks like a guy who won’t take up an injury as quickly as he did before. He is a constant threat going forward. With the raw pace and exceptional hitting capability, Dembele is trying all he could to be the Talisman of Barcelona. With Suarez gone and Messi reaching the twilight of his career, Dembele has a golden chance to be the new main man of Barcelona.
Effectiveness in front of Goals-\
Early in the season, Barcelona was creating most chances in La Liga. But they just were not able to find the back of the net regularly. But now as it seemed they have done some serious shooting practice. Goals are coming thick and fast now. With Messi scoring freely, other players are also benefiting in front of the goal. Their decisiveness in front of goal improved. With Real Madrid struggling hard in front of the goal, Barcelona will fancy their chances with much enthusiasm if they met their Classico rival in the final.
La Real have fallen away-\
Real Sociedad started LaLiga as one of the favorites to contest for the top 4 spots. But since their defeat against Barcelona mid-December, they lost 4 times and won only once. Their squad depth is also not that very promising. But their match against Sevilla showed some promise. But it won’t be enough to stop Barcelona in full swing. They would have to produce something special to challenge Barcelona. But Barcelona will definitely enter the match as favorites.